Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Michael Angelo's Winery

I finally had the chance to get out to Michael Angelo's Winery in Richfield, which opened last summer.
They focus on small-lot varietals with grapes from different regions. For $16.50, you can get a Flight with four 2.75 oz. pours. Since it was my first time, I went that route and selected the Bianco, Riesling, Pinot Noir, and the Wild Flower Cabernet Sauvignon.
I preferred the light-bodied, crisp Bianco from the whites, but the Pinot Noir was my favorite of the four. All were really easy to drink, and I'd happily head back to enjoy more of their wine in the pretty setting.

The winery is linked to the Bakery in Broadview Heights, so they are serving their signature baked goods and other light fare. It is not intended to be a full-service restaurant. You order your wine at one counter and they pour it right there, and you order food at another counter and it is delivered to your table. Personally, I'd love to see this change, as it's a tad annoying to have to deal with two different counters for ordering. But I don't mind that there isn't table service.

Mr. H ordered the Mahi-Mahi Tacos ($15), and he enjoyed them.
I had my eye on their pizzas, so luckily Crystal from Eat Drink Cleveland (Thanks again for the invite!) was there too and she and I shared the Honey Pepper Bacon ($15) with bacon, kale, and honey Aleppo pepper and the Fennel Sausage ($15) with Stracciatella sauce, fennel sausage, scallions and red onion (pictured below).
The flavors of the Honey Pepper Bacon were bolder but the pizza was lacking enough cheese, so we both leaned towards liking the Fennel Sausage one more. It was perfectly enjoyable, but I'd like to see more sauce (it was a bit dry) and slightly bolder flavor beyond the sausage itself.

I'll be ordering the Charcuterie board next time, because it comes with a whole roasted head of garlic!

The food is above average for a winery not focusing on being a full restaurant, in my opinion. So you can certainly fill your belly and there should be something on the menu for everyone (most dishes serve 1-3 people and can be shared). But you'll be heading there for the wine and the pretty setting. And maybe swing by the dessert cooler! 

There's indoor and outdoor seating, with different types of seating from bar to tables to seating around the firepit. There is plenty of parking available, unless they happen to be hosting a wedding or other large private event. If you have a larger party, a reservation is recommended.

Personally, I think this is a great addition to an area where there just isn't much available. But it's also worth the drive out.

5515 Broadview Road
Richfield, OH 44286
(440) 552-2815

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Event Recap: Taste of the Browns 2019

Monday night brought one of our favorite fall charity events, Taste of the Browns to benefit the Greater Cleveland Foodbank.
The event is held at FirstEnergy Stadium, with stunning views of downtown as the backdrop.
It gathers 20+ of Northeast Ohio's best chefs, each preparing a signature hors d'oeuvre.
Some of our favorite bites of the night included the Seared Duck with Fried Farro from Flour, Veal Bolognese (pictured bottom right) from Johnny's Downtown, Seared Ahi Tuna with Mexican Street Corn (pictured top left) from Pier W, Lobster Bisque from Blue Point Grille, Tuna Tartar "Rocco" Taco from Fahrenheit (pictured above), and Avocado Leaf Braised Lamb (pictured bottom left) from Momocho.
And, the one bite that I took seconds of...Salted Caramel Bread Pudding from Heck's Café. I'm not even a dessert person, but man was that good!
The event isn't only just full of good food, but fantastic auction and raffle prizes...
...and celebrity sightings from current and former Browns players, local media faces, and my personal favorite...Chomps.
But the event's true purpose is to raise funds to provide meals in local hunger centers across Northeast Ohio. The 21st anniversary Taste of the Browns raised more than $350,000. This will provide a record-breaking 1.4 million meals!

Disclosure: I was provided with two VIP tickets in exchange for help promoting the event. I am a former employee of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. All opinions stated are 100% my own.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Blu, the Restaurant Opens in Beachwood

When I heard the news that the historic Moxie steakhouse in Beachwood was closing to renovate and refresh into a new seafood restaurant concept for the same management group, I have to say that the thought of another seafood option in town excited me. We just don't have enough in Northeast Ohio.

Enter Blu, the Restaurant. So when I had the opportunity to sample the new menu with a small group of food writers and social influencers, of course I jumped at the chance. We were treated to four courses, highlighting a little bit of everything.
With a raw bar prominently visible in their dining room, the meal had to kick off with the Seafood Platter for Four ($90) which includes oysters, shrimp cocktail, ceviche, trout pate, Alaskan King Crab and Maine lobster. The octopus ceviche and trout pate were highlights for me!
Then came my favorite dish of the night, the Scallops St. Jacques ($18) with mushrooms, white wine, Gruyere, and breadcrumbs. Seriously, I woke up the next morning still thinking of them and I will be back for more.
But the other dishes in this course did not disappoint either, like the BBQ Octopus ($14) with pickled chili, chive cream and crispy fingerlings.
The last savory course brought us a 20 oz. Bone-in Ribeye ($52) with housemade steak oil (they aren't just seafood!) and the Whole Snapper (Market Price) with rice flour, chili black bean, sofrito, scallions and cilantro.
While both were good, they didn't impress me as much as the side of Spinach & Ricotta "Gnocchi" ($18) with house made ricotta and Parmesan cheese (gf).
The history and people of Moxie are still there, but the space underwent a $500,000 renovation and they shifted gears with the menu's focus. This tasting wet my palate enough that I do want to head back soon to explore the menu more on my own. And order more scallops, duh!

3355 Richmond Road
Beachwood, OH 44122
(216) 831-5599

Disclosure: I was invited with a guest to attend an introductory event with complimentary food and wine. All opinions stated are 100% my own.